Following the Money: Campaign Donations and Spending in the 2012 Presidential Race

Posted on February 03, 2013

As we’ve shown at FairVote in study after study, the great majority of people and states are ignored during the election for our country’s highest office. But in the 2012 election, every state was invested at least in one way – they all had residents who donated to and financed the two major party candidates’ campaigns. However, when it came down to the stretch run, the candidates did not reciprocate this national effort.  Instead, candidates concentrated their efforts in a small number of states and left the others as net exporters campaign contributions relative to campaign spending. This report takes a state-by-state look at the data.

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Time to Change an Unpopular Vote

Posted on January 18, 2013

Once again, a Gallup poll has found that a large majority of Americans, both Democrat and Republican, would prefer a popular vote for president. It's time for state legislatures to take notice and pass the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

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Electoral College Chaos: How Republicans Could Put a Lock on the Presidency

Posted on December 13, 2012

Our current Electoral College rules allow for partisan manipulation of outcomes. FairVote's director Rob Richie explains how if Republicans in 2011 had abused their monopoly control of state government in several key swing states and passed new laws for allocating electoral votes, the exact same votes cast in the exact same way in the 2012 election would have converted Barack Obama's advantage of nearly five million popular votes and 126 electoral votes into a resounding Electoral College defeat.

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Electoral College Favored One Party Over the Other in the 2012 Election

Posted on November 21, 2012

FairVote's analyses of congressional elections show a definitive tilt towards the Republican party, grounded in winner-take-all voting rules and the geographic distribution of Republican and Democratic voters. However, on the presidential level there is currently a distinct Democratic advantage, also resulting from winner-take-all rules. By reforming unfair electoral structures, we can eliminate this bias on both the legislative and executive levels.

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Magic Numbers: Small Vote Shifts in Key States Could Have Altered Electoral College Outcomes

Posted on November 15, 2012

One commonly cited benefit of the Electoral College is that, even when the national popular vote for president is close, it creates a decisive victory for one candidate or the other, giving the winner more legitimacy. However, these "decisive" victories are often more tenuous than they seem. There are plenty of elections in which slight vote shifts in key states would have changed the winner of the Electoral College vote, despite the original winners' significantly larger leads in the nationwide vote.  

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Tracking Presidential Campaign Field Operations

Posted on November 13, 2012

The most visible ways that Democratic and Republican presidential candidates show favoritism for swing states are through public campaign events and ad spending. However, tracking where candidates opened field offices is another useful method of measuring candidate attention. Unsurprisingly, field office placement in the 2012 presidential election showed a strong bias towards swing states. 

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Presidential Campaign Attention: Why Most States Aren't Worth Any Despite Their Generosity

Posted on November 01, 2012

For the past two months, FairVote has been highlighting the inequality that the winner-take-all method of allocating electoral votes perpetuates: swing states are targetted and safe states are not. However, another type of inequality to consider is the inequality this rule creates between wealthy and non-wealthy safe state residents. Wealthy residents in every state are targetted at fundrairsers, as they provide a good portion of the money funding the campaigns. Low and middle income swing state residents are targetted because they provide votes that could swing a state to one candidate or another. Low and middle income safe state residents, on the other hand, are out of luck.

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